Ben Horowitz from Andreessen Horowitz, a top VC fund, recently appeared at TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco to speak about the cryptocurrency fund at his company. He also spoke about cryptocurrencies and their disruptive position, programmable money and trust.
When asked about whether there was “real stuff out there” in the cryptocurrency space, Horowitz responded that there was more developer activity in the cryptocurrency space, and that it has been more than anything that “we’ve seen since the internet”. He called it a new computing platform, drawing parallels between the movement of computing from mainframes to PCs to smartphones. He stated:
“The thing that’s deceptive about it is when the new platform at the time is generally worse, in most ways, than the old platform, but has some new capabilities. With crypto, it’s very similar in that it’s worse in most ways than the old computing platform. And that it’s slow. It’s really complex. It’s lacking a lot of features. But it has one feature that has never existed before. And that’s trust.”
Horowitz elaborated on the trust that can be exhibited upon the correct application of blockchain, stating that it is “super powerful”. Moreover, he reiterated the fact that the trust came from “mathematical and game theoretic properties of the platform”. He went on to say:
“That means that you don’t have to trust the government, or Twitter and Facebook, or the other people, even on the network. You just have to trust math. And that opens a very interesting world for developers because you can build new applications like money. Which nobody’s ever been able to program money before, but now you can.”
He called cryptocurrencies a “really transformational idea”, thus leading to a lot of ideas and projects being formed currently. When asked about whether he was interested in the identity and authentication based applications of blockchain or the currency aspect, Horowitz stated:
“I think that so there there’s kind of store value and that Bitcoin is obviously the the great kind of leader in store of value. And I think that that’s a relatively, it’s very valuable, but it’s probably less interesting from a technology standpoint than kind of the other side, which are, you know, kind of crypto networks, and things like Ethereum which is the world’s computer and so forth.”
Horowitz also spoke specifically about Bitcoin [BTC], stating that there was no other use for it than “storing your money”. He went on to say:
“There’s not that much you’re going to do with Bitcoin, but it’s not really a platform that developers turn to.”
Horowitz argued that there was no trust and security enforced on the blockchain without miners, thus making a blockchain without cryptocurrency not viable. As the incentives for miners to secure the network is block rewards, there exists no incentive if cryptocurrencies do not exist on that blockchain.
On the market, he stated:
“It’s going to bubble up and down and people are going to be into it and not into it and so forth. But that’s how the internet went. That’s how these things go. You know, people get very excited when they get, you know, super scared.”
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